Credit: London Stock Exchange

There could be rough waters ahead for the flat-fee, UK-based brokerage disruptor Purplebricks, which is now in four U.S. states: California, Arizona, Florida, and New York.

I had heard they were planning to come to Dallas and Texas also — maybe not so after this news.

Purplebricks is NOT an iBuyer. It is more akin to our Door, to Trelora, and other flat fee brokers that are also taking traditional real estate by storm nip, nip, nipping at the traditional 6 percent (3 percent +3 percent) agent commision, among other things.

Purplebricks has been charging a flat fee of $3,600, up from $3,200, to sell a house. The company claims it is a full-service real estate experience for thousands less. Dallas-based Door, in contrast, charges $5,000.

But just a month ago, Inman reported that Purplebricks was shifting it’s US model towards a more traditional real estate model: (more…)

Founding team at Opendoor

Opendoor, Open Listings, open sesame to way more disruption in the real estate world.

You know about the fast growing, fast-expanding home selling and buying company Opendoor. Launched in the Bay area in 2014, with Dallas as its second focus group city, OpenDoor has raised $645 million in equity financing, has $1.75 billion in debt, and plans to be in 18 markets across the country by year’s end ostensibly to wipe that debt away.

Opendoor takes all that private equity dough and makes instant offers on homes, based on an automated valuation system that determines home prices online, nearly instantly. Homeowners receive a cash offer and can move without the drudgery of selling their homes: no staging, no showings, minor repairs taken out of the equity. The AVM offers are usually lower than what a seller could fetch with a traditional marketing, but they are quicker and time, says Opendoor, is money. Many customers say the Opendoor offer is exactly what they were hoping to sell for. might prefer to pay 6.5 percent or more to Opendoor versus 6% to two agents to unload a home quickly and move on. People choose Opendoor because it gives them convenience and certainty of an offer and price, which gives them confidence to buy their next home. Opendoor also works with a certain price point of home: originally under $600,000 in Dallas/Fort Worth when they launched here, the company is currently only buying properties valued at $300,000 or less in Dallas/Fort Worth (temporarily) because they have so many properties here: 522 on the market.

On Tuesday, September 11, Opendoor made its first acquisition: it bought Open Listings, a discount, technology-based online brokerage with ready-made, in-house real estate agents and partner agents. The Los Angeles-based company launched in San Francisco in 2015 with the slogan, “Shop without an agent. We’ve got your back”. Now in most of California plus Seattle, Chicago, Austin and here in Dallas, the company offers on demand showings with minimal agent interaction, and in-house agents:

“We have different teams of agents that are focused on making the buyer’s experience as smooth as possible at each step, whether it’s researching properties, tracking down answers to specific buyer questions, helping buyers get pre-approved, providing on-demand showings, or fully supporting them from offer negotiations to closing.” 

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commissionsThere has been a lot of discussion lately about Realtor commissions, and what sellers should expect for the commission they are going to pay. More and more startups are popping up to cut the Realtor out altogether.

So for our Aug. 3  Friday Question, we asked real estate professionals — and our readers — to tell us what they thought about commissions.

It didn’t take much to find a whole fistful of articles (some written by us, even), that discuss the topic of Realtor commissions and disruptors like Open Door and Door. In the past three years or so, we’ve written stories about Door and other companies looking to change the way people sell their homes.

And then there’s this article in Forbes this month, which asks, “Are Real Estate Agents Still Relevant In The Age Of Tech?” The article begins by talking about Zillow and other sites that allow prospective buyers to look through houses themselves, seeing multiple pictures, finding out all kinds of information about renovations, materials used, etc.

“But though tech has allowed homebuyers to do all this legwork themselves, in most cases, they’re still forced to go through agents to finalize the transaction,” the piece said. “And those agents? They get the same 3 percent commission they did decades ago—for seemingly doing a fraction of the work.” (more…)

redefy_2-color_logo_horizontal-style

“Sell your home for a $2,500! Flat fee, full service!” That’s just what Redefy says they are bringing to Dallas.

Redefy, a new kind of discount real estate brokerage, is trying to redefine options for selling your home. According to their website, “Redefy helps real estate sellers save thousands by replacing a single real estate agent with a highly efficient and technology-enabled team of experts.”

The company is based in Aurora, Colo., and has branched out into Phoenix, Arizona. Working with title companies and lenders, they found a handful of local agents that are ready to give simplified selling a try and opened their Dallas base in January. Heck, they will even train you to be an agent. It appears the idea is to get as many listings as you can, then build up a database to generate a lot of potential buyers. The buy transaction fee is 3 percent, so it seems the theory is to make up in sales volume what you lose in listing fees.

What does that $2,500 flat fee get a home seller? Jump to find out.

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